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BEST STARTS FOR KIDS

Managing Behaviour Well

There's a long list of what not to do. But what do you do instead that actually works?

The following examples are what worked for me with my own children and with the children I taught.

1. Have Clear Positive Expectations of Behaviour and Model Respectful Behaviour Yourself.

 

  • Develop a clear dialogue about your expectations for behaviour (boundaries) emphasizing treating people, property and our earth with respect.

  • Ensure there's no pay off for bad behaviour.

  • If you can foresee a potential problem issue discuss it ahead of time so your child knows exactly what's expected of them, rather than deal with it after there's a problem when emotions are high.

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2. Implement Routines and Organization that Helps Support Harmonious Relationships.

 

  • Children love routines. It helps them to feel safe.

  • Have the organization in place to provide healthy meals, ideally three times a day.

  • Encourage your child to have one major interest outside school and put the organization in place for them to attend it regularly.

  • Put a daily routine in place so that young children can predict what is expected of them.

4. Notice the Positive Wherever Possible and Express Gratitude

 

  • Watch for your children being good and comment on any things they're doing right.

 

  • Explain the difference between rights and privileges so your young child learns to appreciate how many, many privileges they have in their life.

  • Give your child an unexpected privilege (something they'll really appreciate) and link it to gratitude for what they've done. And be specific.

  • Model gratitude in your every day life.

  • Give your child a positive script to live up to, even if they occasionally blow it.

  • Be fair. Forgive. Your child is going to make mistakes. Be gracious rather than right.

6. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.

  • Consistency especially between both parents. But also including defactos, grandparents, parents-in-law and extended family.

  • Consistency with rules and expectations, ensuring you expect similar behaviour with all your children.

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Regardless of how easy going your children are, at some point or another you're going to have to deal with behavioural issues. This may be anything from a two-year-old tantrum to the extreme of a seventeen-year-old's first criminal offence.

​​​It's likely you may have been told a lot about what not to do. Things like: yelling, smacking or bribing your kids.

But there are additional negative parenting strategies that are less obvious that can also be damaging to your child:

These can include: enabling bad behaviours, being inconsistent, not setting boundaries, arguing with your children, engaging in power plays, criticizing them or negatively comparing them to others, micromanaging them so they have no choice (hover parenting or being a take-charge manipulator,) having unrealistic expectations (perfectionism,) saying one thing and doing another (being a hypocrite,) neglecting them, bullying them or threatening them with violence.

  • Explain you may not be able to give your children everything they want, or let them do everything they want to do, but you'll do everything you can to be the best parent you can be for them. And be the best parent you can be.

  • Deal with problem behaviours when you're calm.

  • Give your child the benefit of the doubt where possible.

  • Postpone making a decision if you're angry. Similarly if you're feeling cross or frustrated disciplining your child may be more appropriate when you've calmed down.

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3. Spend Positive Time Together

 

  • Develop daily routines where your child knows they're going to get positive time with you.

  • Look for opportunities to include your children in your daily routines.

  • Find an activity you can share together that you both enjoy. And be fully present.

  • Plan for fun family days, outings, weekends away or holidays together so that everyone has positive experiences together as a family.

  • Stop what you're doing and really listen to your child when they talk to you whenever possible.

  • Turning off your phone shows your child they're more important than something on Facebook.

5. Let Your Child Experience the Natural Consequences of  What They've Done if they're:

  • Not valuing things:

  • Lying: Give your child the benefit of the doubt where possible, but not when you know they're lying.

  • Deliberately Rule Breaking: If your child is flouting the rules and being disrespectful they may need to be made more aware of their rights and privileges.

​Remember by law you have to maintain your teenagers rights, but privileges are a bonus.

Sensible Parenting

Say 'yes' to all you feel comfortable saying yes to. Distract if you need to. But once you say 'no' it's no, regardless of how much your child complains.

For more Best Parenting Advice to help with positive behaviour development, check the links below:

The True Value of Routines
Routines help with afternoon engagements
Blog: Raising Teenagers to Succeed
Blog: Scared of Your Teenager?
Show More
Boundaries Help Raise Good Kids
Setting Boundaries
Sleep Routines
How to Get your child to sleep.
Why Be Consistent?
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Why Spend Postive Time Together?
A father playing chess with his son can help create a positive relationship
Choosing Gratitude Not Entitlement
A girl kissing her father
Why Natural Consequences?
The Value of Natural Consequences
Show More

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This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting Advice.com does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting Advice.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.

 

Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.